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Last Updated:  Thursday, 10 April, 2003, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
20,000 university name survey criticised
University of Bradford
The existing name is one of the most popular options
Education bosses overseeing a university merger have defended paying consultants thousands of pounds to create a new name.

The University of Bradford and Bradford College are joining together to create an institution with up to 50,000 students.

But after more than three months and 20,000 the study produced three alternative names - Bradford University, University of Bradford and The University of Bradford.

Elaine Byrom, chairman of Bradford Council's Education scrutiny committee, said: "It is farcical. A six-year-old would have been able to deliver the same judgement with ease.

This represented good value for money
University spokeswoman

"The suggestions are just a play on words but whether the result is worth 20,000 is another matter.

"The money could have been better spent."

A spokeswoman for the university said more than 3,500 students and staff were asked to place a list of ten potential names in order of preference.

"It is important to stress that the decision on these names was not made by the consultants," she said.

"It was the staff and students who chose them and in comparison with other similar exercises carried out by companies this represented very good value for money."

Priority Research Ltd carried out the work and spokesman Ross Hume said: "The names are the preferences of the population we interviewed. We did not steer opinion in any way."

The merger is due to be completed by August next year but a final decision on the name has not yet been made.

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